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Verizon won't make any new friends with its latest attack on unlimited data

It appears that the unlimited wireless data "gravy train" is fast coming to an end. No matter which wireless network you use in the United States, they all are looking for ways to cripple "unlimited" data either by cutting off the plans altogether or throttling data after a certain gigabyte threshold is crossed.
 
Verizon Wireless is the latest U.S. carrier to punch customers right between the eyes when it comes to unlimited data. The company is ending the practice of allowing customers on grandfathered, unlimited 3G plans to move to an unlimited 4G data plan when upgrading to a new LTE phone. Instead, those long-time Verizon Wireless customers will have to sign up for a new plan with data caps according to FierceWireless.
 
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo explained the move at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference, stating, "LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world."
  
Shammo is hoping that customers won't mind being kicked off unlimited data plans once Verizon Wireless' family shared data plans launch this summer.

"Everyone will be on data share," Shammo added.
 
Unfortunately, the company has yet to announce pricing for the shared data plans. However, we have the feeling that customers will be getting a lot less for their money with a family shared data plan than they do with the current grandfathered, unlimited 3G/4G plans.

Source: FierceWireless



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And then there was one
By Samus on 5/16/2012 4:52:50 PM , Rating: 3
Sprint would then be the only remaining national carrier to offer unlimited data, unless you consider T-mobile's "Unlimited 2GB" plan unlimited, because after 2GB, it's throttled to slower than EDGE speed.

This will also cripple Verizon iPhone users on iCloud, which is a very data-heavy service. Ask anyone using iCloud on AT&T how many times they've gone over their data limit.

My point is, if we want to evolve toward cloud-computing, we can't have all these data caps as it will hold back adoption.




RE: And then there was one
By AmbroseAthan on 5/16/2012 5:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
And pretty sure Sprint has committed to unlimited LTE data for the near future:

http://allthingsd.com/20120425/sprint-promises-unl...

Seems like a good day bad day for Sprint. One X delayed (EVO LTE) by the ITC/Apple, but will now be the last unlimited data carrier for smartphones.


RE: And then there was one
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2012 7:34:06 PM , Rating: 3
As someone with a fair number of Verizon shares I would also ask you to reconsider using sprint. :)


RE: And then there was one
By phatboye on 5/16/2012 9:27:55 PM , Rating: 5
As someone who owns no shares but is currently a customer of Verizon (though maybe not for long), I would like to ask you to tell Verizon to stop screwing over their customers.


RE: And then there was one
By Labotomizer on 5/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: And then there was one
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/17/2012 9:26:49 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Is it okay that they soak up well over 5GB/month and possibly impact those of us who use their phone reasonably?
If they are paying for unlimited, yes...


RE: And then there was one
By vol7ron on 5/17/2012 9:37:34 AM , Rating: 5
I wouldn't have a problem with limited data plans , if there was a " rollover data " or " rollover bytes " option.

Like you, I have a grandfather unlimited plan, that I hardly use. However, when I want to use it to download lots of email, movies, games, books, music, etc; I don't want to worry about approaching my data cap.

My data usage is not constant, it is sporadic; I'd rather a plan that meets that, then for them to say "some people are taking advantage, so everyone has to go back to the stressful policy we had of limited use, with an increased rate on bonus usage".

-------

When it comes to Verizon, I can't help but to always remember that Verizon doesn't know dollars from cents: http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2007/08/original-r...


RE: And then there was one
By NellyFromMA on 5/17/2012 9:57:42 AM , Rating: 4
So, uh... I purchased an unlimited plan with the expectation that I could use unlimited data, so when I use my data without care in the world for the usage, that means I'm abusing the system?

...really?


RE: And then there was one
By vol7ron on 5/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: And then there was one
By kyp275 on 5/18/2012 2:52:27 AM , Rating: 1
then maybe they shouldn't have advertised it as "Unlimited"


RE: And then there was one
By Targon on 5/18/2012 6:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of this goes back to early implementations and general networking basics. In the days of dial-up, in small towns, a single T1 connection(1.5Mbps) was actually enough to handle the demand. Most people didn't know the Internet existed, so it was fine. As more people got online, a single T1 was not enough, so more bandwidth to each location was needed. The key is that in those days, dial-up users maxed out at 28.8Kbps, so having 1.5Mbps worked. In order to provide service for "broadband" would imply that the amount of bandwidth the ISP would have MUST be at least 100 times the speeds each individual customer would be allocated if you assume there are only 200 customers trying to use that bandwidth. The key is that the AVERAGE use, with some using less, and some pushing the maximum should let the provider avoid being "over subscribed".

The only reason the above would work would be if the service provider keeps the speed to all users at a reasonable level for the demand. If there is an increase in the number of customers that pushes demand, the provider SHOULD have the common sense to limit bandwidth a bit to everyone, just so no customer feels that things are going too slow. If 10Mbps would be the advertised speed, it would be better for the provider to cut the speed to 8Mbps for EVERYONE in an over subscribed area, just to keep the data to EVERYONE flowing. If the provider kept trying to give everyone 10Mbps, that WOULD cause the amount of bandwidth to hit the proverbial wall, and EVERYONE would complain about spontaneous problems with speeds.

For cellular, you have an added complexity where people can move from tower to tower, so the carriers would need to be prepared for more surges in the use of a service. From that perspective then, the approach where "known data hogs" get slower service is almost needed, just to keep these users from hurting service for others.

The problem here is that you don't have it where in a high usage area, even 4G users would find speeds no better than 3G, and you have the problems AT&T had with "slow service" due to iPhone users using more bandwidth. A part of this is also about spectrum, and how cell phone towers can allocate bandwidth. If AT&T could have put area caps on how fast the service was to everyone, then a steady 2G service beats 3G service that unexpectedly drops down to 0.01Mbps for a minute before going back to normal again.


RE: And then there was one
By NellyFromMA on 5/31/2012 1:18:19 PM , Rating: 1
I mean, it sounds more like ISPs and cell phone companies didn't understand technology. Why issue the plans inthe first place....

I understood just fine. It sounded like a great deal so I got it.


RE: And then there was one
By 91TTZ on 5/18/2012 10:53:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I know people who run torrents on their LTE Android phones. Is it okay that they soak up well over 5GB/month and possibly impact those of us who use their phone reasonably?


The problem is that those customers were offered the option to buy an unlimited data plan, and they agreed to pay a certain price for unlimited data usage. It's a contract. Now the company is trying to go back on a previous promise.


RE: And then there was one
By xsilver on 5/18/2012 2:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
well the problem as I see it is that there is no such number as "unlimited" so every company has a number in mind when they offer services like this.
Now normally the few massive users are offset by the users that use nothing, however in reality what they are finding is that an increasing amount of people on unlimited plans are actually trying to download the entire internet on their phone. This in turn creates massive losses.

From the customers point of view, the problem is that 5gb (which is probably enough for 95% of people) doesnt sound as good as "unlimited"


RE: And then there was one
By Targon on 5/18/2012 5:29:47 AM , Rating: 2
Verizon has a long history of screwing over customers in various ways, including adding "trial" features to customer accounts, which after one month gets turned into a paid feature that many will never notice they are now paying for.


RE: And then there was one
By djc208 on 5/17/2012 7:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
Only problem with that is that their LTE plans are vauge and weak.

What good is unlimited LTE if it's only available in a few cities and there's no idea of if or when you'll get access to it.

Plus they were just rated to have one of the worst 3G networks, so does it matter if you're unlimited if you can't get enough speed to exceed a cap anyway?

I have had Sprint for many years, but after the original 4G mess, and the slow roll-out of LTE I'm reluctant to want to stay with them any longer.


RE: And then there was one
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2012 5:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
As a Sprint customer myself, I would strongly council you to consider if "Unlimited" is worth putting up with the slowest and most unreliable network of all the major carriers.

quote:
This will also cripple Verizon iPhone users on iCloud


Sweet.


RE: And then there was one
By Solandri on 5/16/2012 6:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not really sure what's up with Sprint anymore. I complained here about how slow their network had gotten (barely above 1 Mpbs on 4G). But while at a restaurant for mother's day in an affluent area, I noticed 4G was available so I tested it. 5.8 Mbps down, 1.6 Mbps up. That's close to the speed I got when they first rolled out 4G.


RE: And then there was one
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2012 7:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Its all how many people are competing for the available bandwidth. Probably more people have moved away from wimax freeing up bandwidth.


RE: And then there was one
By adrift02 on 5/16/2012 6:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to say it, but as a Sprint customer I'm reaching my breaking point as well. Seems like their network wasn't always this bad -- I mean 1-2 bars a lot of the time, but solid voice and decent browsing speeds. Now coverage seems spotty(er) and I literally yell at my phone to load pages.

I REALLY don't want to support Verizon or AT&T with their prices/caps, but I'm not sure how much longer can hold out.


RE: And then there was one
By Adam M on 5/16/2012 7:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I have said it before... Unlimited crap is still crap. Is Sprint worth $100 per month for unlimited dial up? At the end of my contract I will be going with a smaller prepaid regional like Cricket or Boost. Where do I use most of my data? At home. So why not get cheaper phone service and get WIFI at home? I will probably still end up saving money with 2 services over staying with Sprint.


RE: And then there was one
By protosv on 5/17/2012 9:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough point about it being cheaper, but you do realize that Boost is a subsidiary of Sprint, and uses their data network? So you'd still be getting the same crappy data service.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boost_Mobile

Incidentally, as a long-time sprint customer myself in The Bronx, I have also seen both data speeds and general reception decline over the past year or so to pretty poor levels. I used to get full bars in my apt. building, now I get 3, and I used to regularly get 350-400Kbps download on 3G, now I often struggle to break 150Kbps. On 4G, it's a different story, as the speeds here have been consistent at about 7Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up. That hasn't changed. Perhaps they're just trying to phase out their 3G network alltogether in an effort to shift all new customers to 4G only?


RE: And then there was one
By protosv on 5/17/2012 9:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
Fair enough point about it being cheaper, but you do realize that Boost is a subsidiary of Sprint, and uses their data network? So you'd still be getting the same crappy data service.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boost_Mobile

Incidentally, as a long-time sprint customer myself in The Bronx, I have also seen both data speeds and general reception decline over the past year or so to pretty poor levels. I used to get full bars in my apt. building, now I get 3, and I used to regularly get 350-400Kbps download on 3G, now I often struggle to break 150Kbps. On 4G, it's a different story, as the speeds here have been consistent at about 7Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up. That hasn't changed. Perhaps they're just trying to phase out their 3G network alltogether in an effort to shift all new customers to 4G only?


RE: And then there was one
By GotThumbs on 5/17/2012 2:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
fyi. PagePlus is a PPPlan and uses the Verizon network. I canceled my basic $54MO contract with Verizon and switched to PagePlus. 29.99 MO for the 1200 Talk-n-Text plan (1,200 talk, 3,000 text and 100mb of data). Kitty Wireless provides a autopay option so I've never had to buy minutes except on initial setup. I use a droid and only wanted the data for using GPS feature. So far I've never exceeded my limits and only use WIFI for email syncing.


RE: And then there was one
By Dr of crap on 5/17/2012 8:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
As a Sprint user as well - just like the ATT complaints with the iphone coverage, it's all about what location you're in and how many users there are near you. For me there is no network issues, but I do not live on the east coast either.
Funny that you don't hear about the west coast having problems.

As a very limited user I still like the fact of unlimited data IF I so desire.


RE: And then there was one
By Reclaimer77 on 5/17/2012 10:17:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well it's not "all" about location. It's been proven that WiMAX is an inferior wireless protocol, yet Sprint clings to it like a rat to driftwood.

quote:
Funny that you don't hear about the west coast having problems.


http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/29517
http://www.cellreception.com/coverage/az/phoenix/p...

Whole slews of West Coast issues. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Why the hell should it matter where someone lives anyway? What are you trying to say? Those of us on the East Coast pay just as much as the West Coast, so what, we shouldn't expect good service?


RE: And then there was one
By Dr of crap on 5/17/2012 10:24:40 AM , Rating: 2
Hey don't get your panties in a bunch!

I'm saying tall building, hugh masses of steel and concrete can and do interfer with radio waves/cell phone coverage. That is way New York would have SPOTS that get worse service than other spots, tall builiding, lot of interferance to signals, get it?
In my kids school gym, I get very bad service, yet I DO NOT complain about it.

If you wanted 100% service ALL the time, you're dreaming.

And I'm saying most east coasters do the most complaining.


RE: And then there was one
By Reclaimer77 on 5/17/2012 11:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
Sprint came in dead last in an independent carrier test though. I see what you're saying, but I don't live in a large metro area where I would have LOS issues. Sprint just sucks, plain and simple. Even T-Mobile tested better!

quote:
If you wanted 100% service ALL the time, you're dreaming.


Well I guess Verizon customers are living the dream then lol :)


RE: And then there was one
By chµck on 5/16/2012 6:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
For $30/month, I get to hit 5GB before throttled to EDGE. I hardly use more than 100mb/month.


RE: And then there was one
By AMDftw on 5/17/2012 8:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm currently on Verizon unlimited plan. I can go well over the 5GB plan. I stream Netflix, DI.FM, and surf the web. The plant I work at blocks more and more websites everyday. I can't even see my own website do to "Game" tags. They are all so cutting off all my proxy servers I can use... This is BS.


RE: And then there was one
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2012 7:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well its a good thing I got my LTE phone when I did. Looks like I'm going to have to hold on to this phone and my contract forever. If I start getting throttled to much I guess I will just dump the smart phone idea, and go back to your basic flip phone.


RE: And then there was one
By Bateluer on 5/16/2012 11:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, once your contact hits its end date, you'll get moved to a tiered plan and there's nothing you can do about it. Except make a note of every single free WiFi place and make a point to use WiFi at home.


RE: And then there was one
By christojojo on 5/17/2012 6:59:50 AM , Rating: 2
My solution was to downgrade to a regular cellphone and not have a media phone. I use a iPod Touch now for that ability.Is it limiting? yep But did I personally need the media/ data phone capabilities no. My phone was for personal/ selfish reasons so it was an easy regrettable decision.


RE: And then there was one
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2012 7:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone get the connection with the picture?


RE: And then there was one
By xxxsmitty on 5/16/2012 10:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
I fully respect the need for a company to adjust their policies and services to make a profit... That is afterall the ultimate goal of any business. However, I'm disappointed in this recent policy change, as I explicitly renewed my contract back in July to get 'grandfathered in', and was told that this wouldn't happen to current subscribers. Therefore, I'm going to promote this link to anyone else disappointed in hopes that VZ will take note, and hopefully respond appropriately.

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-verizon-from-...


RE: And then there was one
By Motoman on 5/17/2012 9:41:37 AM , Rating: 3
Forget "slower than EDGE" - it's slower than dial-up.

I know...painfully. Have been on it for months now, after having moved to a new place where Centurylink was telling me we could get DSL, only to discover we couldn't.

Naturally T-Mo doesn't disclose how much they slow down your connectivity when you reach your limit. But it's frequently no more than about 20kbps. About half of what you'd get on dial-up.

The problem is that roughly 20%, or 1 in 5 Americans lives in rural locations...where there is no broadband, and probably never will be. These people either have to get by on dial-up, or use satellite or cellular wifi.

We all know dial-up sucks because it's slow. Satellite can have good download speed, but it's latency is horrific (no way to play games for sure). Cellular wifi has good speed and good latency...but both it and Satellite are capped. The most you can get from T-Mo is 10Gb. After that you're screwed. They won't even sell you more bandwidth in a given month if you offer to pay them for it. Even though they have pay-as-you-go plans that use the same device...which, if you knew you were going to use 10Gb+ every month, you'd be an idiot to use as your primary account (you pay through the nose for it compared to the regular contracted plan)...but it makes no sense that they wouldn't want to make more money off of existing customers who want to buy more bandwidth for a month.

10Gb is a joke these days. And since T-Mo is the only company within range of our place for reasonable reception, we have no choice but to use them...not that anyone else would be any better.

...so here we sit suffering along until maybe, some day, either cable and/or DSL makes it to us. Which both Centurylink and Comcast assure us they're working on...I'm sure they'll be here any day now.


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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